How We Vet Our Printing PartnersKristin Crane
Design Pool partners with digital printers to make on-demand, low-waste manufacturing accessible to the commercial interior design community. Our printers have the capacity to print on a wide range of different substrates and offer a range of options. Currently, we work with eight digital printers, and that number keeps growing. Our number one priority is for customers to have a good experience and we want to be sure printers deliver high-quality goods with exceptional customer service. For this reason, we vet our printing partners before we partner with them.
Why did we partner with printers?
When we first created our licensable library, interior designers liked our patterns but would ask, “Now what?” They were used to specifying materials from an inventory-based system. Taking a pattern they liked and finding a printer was a lot of extra work for a designer. Yet, they liked the idea of being able to source their materials in a more sustainable, non-inventory-based way. One that offered more flexibility to customize a space. We decided to reach out to printers we knew to connect them directly with interior designers. Over time, our pool of printers grew to include new printers we’ve met at trade shows or who found us online or in print.
How do we vet our printing partners?
First, we evaluate their product to be sure it is high quality and at a good price. To us, a reasonable price reflects the total value of the product.
Next, we ask printers to print a selection of Design Pool patterns on their different substrates. We want to be sure that our patterns look their best on the substrates they have and printed with their inks. In addition, we gather all testing information because all the products we offer must pass commercial-grade tests.
We also ask printers if they have the capacity to take on more customers, particularly interior designers. Not all printers are familiar with the process and timeline of interior design projects. We want to make sure they are capable of working within that system. For example, interior designers often request product samples during the design process and expect these samples to be free. However, it’s important to realize they do not place the order for production until several weeks or possibly even months later. This is particularly true for large commercial projects such as hotels or hospitals.
Once an interior designer connects with a printer, we follow along to be sure it’s going smoothly. Lastly, we always follow up with our customers to be sure they had a good experience.
It’s essential every Design Pool pattern looks its best when finally installed.
Strong partnerships with our printers make this happen. If you’re an interior designer and have questions about our partners, please reach out or leave them in the comments. If you’re a printer looking to partner with us, we would love to talk with you. Please get in touch, and we can start the process.